Therapeutic Recreation Services
Austin Parks and Recreation Department (PARD) is proud to offer Therapeutic Recreation Services to provide safe, accessible, fun and supportive recreation environments for all persons no matter their abilities. PARD’s Therapeutic Recreation Services include both adaptive and inclusive programs which are facilitated and supported by Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists (CTRS). Our team of CTRSs perform recreation based assessments which are used to develop modifications to programs, activities and staff training, providing opportunities for successful participation in all PARD programs.
Therapeutic Recreation Services include both inclusive and adaptive programs through the Inclusion Unit, Danny G. McBeth Recreation Center, and Dottie Jordan Recreation Center. Each of these services strives to provide active, meaningful programming to promote social, physical, and cognitive wellness for all individuals.
Vision – The Parks and Recreation Department will be an innovative leader in parks and recreation experiences.
Mission – Inspire Austin to learn, play, protect and connect by creating diverse programs and experiences in sustainable natural spaces and public places.
The Austin Parks and Recreation Department provides opportunities wherein all individuals are accepted, included and welcomed to participate, play and recreate together. Individuals interested in additional services are encouraged to request modifications, if needed, in order to participate in our programs. The Inclusion Unit embraces the diversity that defines Austin. We encourage all, no matter their ability, disability, sexual orientation, race, gender identity, veteran status, color, national origin, sex, age, income status or religion to reach out so we may assist you in participating in our programs and activities. The Inclusion unit strives to create safe and supportive environments for ALL in our recreation programs, activities, experiences and natural spaces.
The Inclusion unit provides training and resources for all department staff members and modifies programs, as needed, to create inclusive environments. The CTRS staff of the Inclusion unit implement individual participant modification plans to create a successful, fun and positive recreation experience. Throughout the year, the Inclusion Unit provides support for PARD participants in summer camps, Out-of-school-time programs, senior centers and community recreation center senior program, nature-based and cultural arts programs. For more information, or to request services from the Inclusion Unit, please visit the Inclusion webpage, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-974-3914
The Danny G. McBeth Recreation Center was the City of Austin’s first therapeutic recreation center, and the center has been home to year-round adaptive programs since 1986. McBeth is located at Zilker Park, and offers therapeutic recreation programs for youth, teens, and adults with a variety of special needs. These programs include the Good Neighbor Adventure Club (GNAC) adult day program, McBeth Adaptive Sports, youth and teen summer and holiday break camps, after school programs and adult leisure education and recreation programs. For more information on the programs offered at McBeth Recreation Center, please visit the McBeth webpage.
The newest addition to the Therapeutic Recreation Services is Dottie Jordan Recreation Center (DJRC). Therapeutic Recreation outreach programs began at DJRC in spring 2020. DJRC is set to open a second location of the Good Neighbor Adventure Club adult day program in 2021.
DJRC is located in Northeast Austin, and the surrounding pack includes a tennis court, a basketball court, a community garden, and a walking trail. Behind the recreation center is the Dottie Jordan Neighborhood Pool. For more information on the programs offered at Dottie Jordan Recreation Center, please visit: Dottie Jordan webpage.
Therapeutic Recreation Fieldwork and Internship Experiences
We are proud to offer fieldwork and internship experiences through Therapeutic Recreation Services. There are currently eight Recreation Therapists, within Therapeutic Recreation Services, who you will have the opportunity to work with and learn from during your fieldwork or internship. Fieldwork students or interns will be given opportunities to facilitate programs in inclusive and/or adaptive settings, practice all aspects of the APIED process, and gain experience in the field of Therapeutic Recreation. For more information, please visit the PARD Internships webpage or contact TRInternships@austintexas.gov.
Therapeutic Recreation Services accepts volunteers for many programs, including:
- McBeth Adaptive Sports as coaches and unified partners
- Monthly Dances
- Special events including Art in the Park
- After school programs
- Friends of McBeth Board
Please note: The start date for volunteering is contingent on a criminal background investigation.